Feeds

Sun cries wolf over Windows XP

The biter bit?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Unless you’re American you may have missed the fact that Sun has been placing newspaper advertisements asking that Windows users put pressure on Microsoft to re-introduce a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) into Windows.

This seems unlikely to be successful as independent sources estimate that no more than 5 per cent of Windows users actually make use of Java applets. Be that as it may, Microsoft has hit back with a statement saying, in effect, that it might well have kept its JVM in Windows XP, except that for a lack of trust in Sun.

It fears that Sun will apply for an injunction to prevent Microsoft from releasing Windows XP on the basis of some technical (and probably spurious) infringement of its Java licensing agreement. And, of course, Microsoft felt confident that if such a legal proceeding was to be initiated then it would inevitably be started at the most inconvenient moment – in other words, in early October, just before the product is due to be released.

Sun can hardly complain (although it is doing so). Whatever the merits of the case Sun is in a classic boy who cried wolf scenario. It is trying to recoup.

It is building a JVM specifically for Windows XP or, more specifically, Internet Explorer 6 (Windows XP theoretically supports the latest JVM version 1.3.1 but Internet Explorer 6 is limited by its agreement with Sun to JVM version 1.1.4).

Unfortunately, it will be too late for Sun: it will not be able to deliver its code in time for the launch of Windows XP. While it will ultimately be available as a download, most of the leading PC vendors have already decided either to ship their PCs with no JVM at all, or with a JVM from some other vendor (including, in some cases, Microsoft’s own obsolete JVM). It will be much more difficult for Sun to change hearts and minds once vendors such as Compaq, Dell and Gateway mak their decisions as to what they will deliver.

The biter bit

Sun is, of course, desperate. If Windows XP systems ship without Java (and a significant number won’t) then developers cannot assume that Java will be present on user systems. Moreover, the download for Microsoft’s JVM, for example, is 5MB. Lots of people, particularly those limited to modem-based communications will not want the hassle of having to download such a large file. So developers may choose to use software that they know will be supported on user platforms. And this, potentially, is C#. If this is the case then Java stands to lose mind-share, to the benefit of Microsoft and the detriment of Sun.

While lots of companies, including IBM, are putting pressure on Microsoft to change its stance over a JVM, you can see Redmond's point. Sun does appear to have a co-ordinated anti-Microsoft policy. It has proved that it can and will resort to litigation. Who can blame Microsoft for taking this at face value?

© IT-Analysis.com. All rights reserved

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.